Iran Seeks Total Eradication of Chemical Weapons

Iran Seeks Total Eradication of Chemical Weapons
Iran Seeks Total Eradication of Chemical Weapons

Iran’s envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons stressed the need for the complete elimination of chemical weapons stockpiles across the world.

Addressing the 83rd meeting of the organization’s Executive Council, Alireza Jahangiri also urged countries in possession of chemical weapons to fully comply with their commitments under the organization’s Chemical Weapons Convention, IRNA reported on Saturday.

Stressing the universality of the convention, the envoy urged all non-parties to join it without any preconditions as soon as possible.

The summit of the world’s chemical weapons watchdog was held from October 11-14 in The Hague, Netherlands.

Jahangiri, who is also the deputy chairman of the council, welcomed Syria’s progress in dismantling its chemical weapons.

Syria started the destruction of its stockpile of chemical weapons in 2013, under a deal brokered by Russia and the US. It came after the US and some of its allies accused the Syrian Army of using chemical weapons against foreign-backed militants fighting to bring down the government.

Jahangiri added that considering the positive cooperation of the Syrian government with the OPCW, certain countries should avoid politicizing the issue.

The US, along with France, Britain and some other countries, have been trying in recent weeks to pass a UN Security Council resolution against Syria, citing an August report by a UN panel claiming that the Syrian air force had dropped chlorine bombs on two northwestern Syrian towns in  2014 and 2015.

But Washington faces stiff opposition from Russia, which has challenged the findings and questioned their credibility.

The Iranian envoy appealed for international cooperation against the use of chemical weapons by terrorist groups operating in Syria and Iraq, which can pose a threat to international peace and security.

Jahangiri also called on member countries to refrain from providing support, financial and otherwise, to terrorist groups.

The US, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are main supporters of militants in the over five-year-old conflict in Syria.

There have been reports in recent years that some militant groups, particularly the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, have used chemical weapons against their opponents in Syria and Iraq.

The 192-member OPCW is the body implementing the CWC, which entered into force in 1997 to achieve a world free of chemical weapons.

The organization’s Executive Council consists of 41 countries elected to serve two-year terms.


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